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Dr. Adam Lawson

  • Professor


Contact Information

  • Department: Psychology
  • Office: Cammack 112
  • Mailing Address: Cammack 127
  • Email:
  • Phone: 859-622-1564


Dr. Lawson’s research focusses on the brain bases of higher-order cognitive processes.  Specific cognitive interests include a) the impact of personality on lying, b) automatic and conscious controlled memory processes, and c) age related differences in memory.  Dr. Lawson uses a variety of neuroscience techniques to examine cognitive processes including EEG, MRI, skin conductance, and heart rate measures.

Dr. Adam L. Lawson received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Oklahoma State University with an emphasis in cognitive neuroscience in 2001, completed a Postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Kentucky in 2006, and joined the faculty at Eastern Kentucky University in 2007 where he continues his studies in cognitive neuroscience.  

From his initial training as a student, Dr. Lawson has been interested in higher-order cognitive processes and their underlying brain processes.  His graduate training focused on cognitive mechanisms involved in memory, inhibition, and intentional deception using EEG (i.e., electrical activity produced by neurons in the brain).  During his postdoctoral training, he continued to expand his brain research training to include event-related potentials (ERPs) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technologies.  During this training, Adam also became involved in studies that examined a variety of brain processes related to adult aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and drug abuse vulnerability.

Dr. Lawson continues his research at the EKU Richmond campus.  Currently Dr. Lawson and his undergraduate and graduate researchers are collecting data on a study that is examining how high and low sensation seekers differ in processing information using autonomic nervous system (ANS) and EEG measures.  One aspect of information processing examined by Dr. Lawson is how the brain has several automatic and more conscious controlled memory systems, and some of these systems are impacted by personality traits like sensation seeking.  The examination of memory processes and sensation seeking has also been extended to detecting concealed information.  Dr. Lawson is currently conducting a set of experiments that examine how brain markers of concealing information differ between high and low sensation seekers.  Since high sensation seekers are more likely to commit risky and illegal acts like lying to a government agent, understanding how sensation seeking personality differences affect the act of deceiving can have important implications on detecting criminals before they do substantial harm.  Please refer to Dr. Lawson’s vitae for current and recently published studies.  You are also welcome to contact Dr. Lawson through the following email address for more information about his research:

Representative Publications:

Lawson, A.L., Liu, X., Joseph, J., Vagnini, V., Kelly, T.H., & Jiang, Y. (2012). Sensation seeking predicts brain responses in the old–new task: Converging multimodal neuroimaging evidence. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 84(3), 260-269.

Lawson, A.L., Gauer, S., & Hurst, R. (2012). Sensation seeking, recognition memory, and autonomic arousal.Journal of Research in Personality, 46(1), 19-25.

Lawson, A.L., Guo, C., & Jiang, Y. (2007). Age effects on brain activity during repetition priming. Neuropsychologia, 45, 1223 – 1231.

Professional Interests

Cognitive neuroscience, psychophysiology, memory and aging


Subject  TitleDatesLocationTerm
PSY 311Physiological PsychologyTR 11:00am-12:15pm Roark Building 006Spring 2023
PSY 402IS: EEG & ERPs Adv   Spring 2023
PSY 402IS: EEG & ERPs Adv   Spring 2023
PSY 402IS: EEG & ERPs Adv   Spring 2023
PSY 419Research Development Skills IITR 9:30am-10:45am Cammack Building 212Spring 2023
PSY 440Scientific Literacy in LifeTR 12:30pm-1:45pm Cammack Building 212Spring 2023
PSY 497Learning and AnimalsTR 2:00pm-3:15pm Cammack Building 212Spring 2023
PSY 503Practicum in Psychology   Spring 2023
PSY 503Practicum in Psychology   Spring 2023
PSY 887IS: EEG & ERPs   Spring 2023
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